Artist in Residence Lisa Batiashvili shines in one of the most compelling violin concertos in the repertoire. Shostakovich composed the work during the Great Purge in which Stalin silenced many artists, and it was only after Stalin’s death that he dared to publish it. Batiashvili calls it ‘very dramatic music which is close to my heart because I grew up with it in Georgia. I can still feel the fear and loneliness of the people in the Soviet Union. You never forget what you experienced as a child.’
Bruckner also composed in the face of oppression. While he never risked his life, he did suffer a mental breakdown as a result of the strident criticism of his work. Bruckner was ahead of his time, living only just long enough to see his symphonies recognised as masterpieces. He affectionately referred to his First Symphony as ‘my saucy maid’. It is most certainly his liveliest.